InterviewAbu Dhabi’s IPIC remains on Europe petchem investment trail

08 April 2010 16:44  [Source: ICIS news]

By Will Beacham

IPIC still seeks Europe acquisitionLONDON (ICIS news)--Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) is still looking for a major European petrochemical acquisition, but less intensively than in 2009, a spokesman said on Thursday.

“An acquisition will need to be re-evaluated: whether or not it goes ahead is an open question. It could still happen – the chances of it happening in 2010 are somewhat less than 50% but not vanishingly small either,” he said.

In November last year, IPIC’s managing director, Khadem Al Qubaisi, told ICIS news that the company was in talks with five major petrochemical players in the US and Europe, including Bayer MaterialScience, and expected to close a European acquisition by the first quarter of 2010.

The spokesman said: “We were looking at a large, major European producer – in commodity petchems. Any time you look at a European acquisition in chemicals Bayer MaterialScience is going to come into the frame and it’s still out there.

“[A major European acquisition] is not ruled out but it’s on the back-burner for now and I would not anticipate that it would occur as early as Q3 this year.”

He added: “IPIC and [investment group] Aabar had a very aggressive 2009 reflecting the opportunities that became available that year following the global financial crisis.

"It’s likely that in 2010 we’ll see a far less aggressive attitude because we want to digest the investments that we made to make sure we exploit the additional synergies.We’re opportunistic in nature and if good opportunities come along we’ll certainly look seriously at them.”

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By: Will Beacham
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